Close Encounters

I won’t lie, my inner idiot is pea green with envy!


I’m so ready to go a Viking!

Season 5 coming to Hulu April 24. I’m a huge fan of Lagertha and Floki. Really going to miss King Egbert.

Also looking forward to Season 4 of Black Sails on April 2.

Looking forward to this!

New Digital Collection: Secretary of State Wills

This collection will keep me busy for a while, I think!

History For All the People

The State Archives of North Carolina would like to announce the creation of the new digital collection, North Carolina Secretary of State Wills. The digital collection contains wills from 1663 to 1789. These are loose original wills probated in the province. After 1760 most original wills were kept by the clerk in the county in which they were

SR_SS_XIX_Probate_Wills_Brand_Isabella_County_not_given_01 Isabella Brand’s will

probated, though there are some wills after 1760 in the collection.

These wills are indexed in the Mitchell Will Index categorized with “SS/AR”, which can be accessed in the MARS catalog. The original wills are no longer accessible to the public for conservation concerns. Due to the age of some of the wills, the ink may be difficult to read. The wills are arranged alphabetically by surname of decedent.

Some of the more famous North Carolinians from the time period are included in the collection, such as…

View original post 47 more words

Ancestry Queries

I’ve made a few more queries on the Message Boards at Ancestry.  No replies, yet, but fingers crossed.

Topic: Hiram Wright
Board: Chatham County, North Carolina

I am looking for the parents of Hiram Wright. He was born 12 Dec 1813 in either Chatham or Cumberland County and died 27 May 1907 in Robeson County. He married three times, all in Cumberland County: Sarah Bowden in 1842, Elizabeth Bowden in 1850, and Nancy Ann Bowden in 1863. I know that there was an adult Hiram Wright in Chatham County in 1814, because he was the bondsman for James McMath and Polly Johnson. Also, on 12 Nov 1807, Hiram Wright apprenticed himself to Aaron Evans for 3 years and 2 months, as a wheelwright. I would be grateful for any other information about either Hiram.

Topic: James Cross (b. about 1755, died 1832) and Paul Curtis (say 1810-1844)
Board: Beaufort County, North Carolina

I am looking for information on James Cross who wrote his will 13 Oct 1832. Wife Sally, son William, daughters Nancy, Peggy, and Patsy. Witnesses were William Pritchard and Paul Curtis. Will proven on the oath of Paul Curtis in Nov 1832. A James Cross can be found listed in census records in Beaufort County from 1800 to 1830. It is possible that he was the James Cross listed in Martin County in 1790. From the census, I calculate that he was born in about 1755 and Sally in about 1785. More than likely, she was a second wife.

My theory is that I descend from their daughter, Nancy. I think she married Paul Curtis about 1833. I cannot find them in the 1840 census. But, in 1850, in the household of Simon Edwards, is his wife, Nancy (b. 1817), their three children William, Marshall, and Winifred (my ancestor) as well as a Sarah Curtis aged 16 and an Elzar Curtis aged 6. And in 1860 there’s a Jane Curtis, aged 19. There was a marriage, 4 Sep 1869, between Sally Edwards, daughter of Paul and Nancy Curtis, to William H. H. Norman, son of Smith and Salina Norman.

I understand that Simon Edwards left a will, about 1876, and it can only be accessed through the Clerk of Court in Washington, NC. It’s on my to do list if I ever get up there.

I would appreciate any information about James Cross and/or Paul Curtis.

Thank you,

Topic: Jonathan Beasley
Boards: Wake County, North Carolina; Johnston County, North Carolina; and Surname: Beasley

I’ve read at Beasley Family Pedigrees at, and a few other places, that my Isaac Beasley (the one who married Pheraby Roberts) was the son of Jonathan Beasley of Wake County. Does anyone have any documentation to prove this?

I’ve found a few pieces of evidence that hint at Jonathan having been the son of James Beasley, Sr. who was the son of John Beasley who wrote his will in 1787, but nothing linking Isaac to Jonathan.

Topic: Charles Bargeau, aka Henry Williamson
Boards: Middlesex, England and Surname: Bargo also posted versions of this on the London and Middlesex Board at RootsChat and the Family Research Board at Family Tree Forum

I recently found one of my ancestors, Henry Williamson, in a document collection known as The John Gray Blount Papers. Mr. Blount was a merchant based in the town of Washington in Beaufort County, North Carolina during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. According to these documents, Mr. Williamson, a very old, very poor man, and blind or nearly so, was also a merchant and a farmer living on Lake Mattamuskeet, but that he had lived in London at one time. It also comes to light that Henry Williamson is an assumed name and that he was born Charles Bargeau!

There are several letters in the collection (Volume 3) between him and his “niece” Mary Fitzgerald of Charles Street, St. James’s Square, London. The topic of these letters, and others, is a Legacy of South Seas Annuities descending to Mr. Bargeau/Williamson via the marriage agreement of one of his siblings. The marriage in question produced one known child, Ms. Fitzgerald. The other heirs are her uncles, Charles/Henry being one of them, though brothers of which parent is never clarified. The others are: John who died in Lisbon at the house of Mayne & Co. c. 1771, Joseph who went to the East Indies in about 1752 and hadn’t been heard of since, and Francis who died a Midshipman aboard the Griffen Man of War (Thomas Taylor, Captain) at Antigua c. 1772. And, in fact, I’ve found a notice taken out in the Lisbon Gazette in August 1796 concerning this Legacy and saying, I think, that John, Joseph, and/or Francis, or their heirs, have until November 28 to appear in Chancery Court in London to obtain their share(s). There is a book published decades after Henry’s death, A list of the Names of such Proprietors of Annuities, transferable at the South-Sea House, as were entitled to Dividends on or before the 5th of July, 1837, and which remained unpaid on the 10th of October, 1842, that says there 3 dividends to which he was entitled and that they became available in July 1796.

The only other reference I’ve found to a Charles Bargeau comes from Volume 14 of the Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London which mentions someone of that name, son of John Bargeau “late of Spitalfields” being bound as a goldsmith in 1749. Also, I’ve found a Francis Bargeau of Middlesex, son of John Bargeau of Spitalfields, Middlesex, deceased, apprenticed 17 Apr 1755 to Robert Bayley as a draper. And a christening record of a Francis Bargeau, son of John and Margaret, at Christ Church 21 Sep 1740. A John Bargeau was buried in Spitalfield 20 May 1745, and a Margaret 26 Jun 1743.

Henry and his wife, Ann, had 4 daughters and 2 sons. Interestingly, one of the sons was named Peter LeCuse Williamson. I know there were several Peter Le Keux, silk weavers, who were prominent in Spitalfields from the late 17th century on into the early 19th. There was a marriage in St. Michael, Cornhill, London 10 Apr 1735 between John Le Keux of Norton Folgate and Mary Bargeau of Christ Church. And, at St. George, there was a marriage between Mary Le Keux and Keane Fitzgerald 29 Oct 1788. Question is, am I the right track? I read somewhere, can’t remember where, that the Mary Le Keux who married Keane was the daughter of a Mary Le Keux and a Peter Le Keux.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!


DNA of early Neanderthal gives timeline for new modern human-related dispersal from Africa | EurekAlert! Science News

Annette Günzel, © Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

This is a schematic representation of the evolutionary scenario for mitochondrial and nuclear DNA in archaic and modern humans. Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA recovered in this study suggests an intermediate migration out of Africa before 220,000 years ago.


Ancient mitochondrial DNA from the femur of an archaic European hominin is helping resolve the complicated relationship between modern humans and Neanderthals. The genetic data, recovered by a team from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, the University of Tuebingen, and others, provides a timeline for a proposed migration out of Africa that occurred after the ancestors of Neanderthals arrived in Europe by a lineage more closely related to modern humans.

Source: DNA of early Neanderthal gives timeline for new modern human-related dispersal from Africa | EurekAlert! Science News

A Couple of Gatlin Queries

Over the last couple of days, I’ve made a couple of posts on the Gatlin Message Board at Ancestry and figured I might as well post them here as well.

First:  A Question About McDuffie’s Book

On page 20 of her book, McDuffie refers to a land grant received by a William Gatlin in Craven County in 1738. Has anyone actually found this grant? I’ve looked at the Craven County Register of Deeds website, done an NC Mars Archive Basic Search, and a query at the site North Carolina Land Grant Images and Data. Nothing. The earliest grant to a William Gatlin I’ve been able to find in Craven County is 1763.

And second: The Husband of Mary Johnson

In his will, dated April 26, 1796, Richard Johnson makes bequests to his three sisters Elizabeth Gatlin, Easter Gatlin, and Mary Gatlin. Elizabeth was the wife of Edward (d. 1781), son of John (d. 1766) and Easter/Esther the wife of John (prob. d. 1801), son of Edward (d. 1763). Who was the husband of Mary Johnson? Any ideas? In the will, the bequests to Elizabeth and Easter are “to her & her heirs and assigns for Ever”, but Mary’s is ” to her & her assigns for Ever.” Other bequests were made to nephew, Richard Johnson Daughter (perhaps Daughtry or Daugherty), niece, Sarah Gatlin, daughter of Elizabeth, and to “cousin” Persis Lambert.

But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them.Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Will of Solomon Tingle

In the name of God Amen: 30th d of September annodomi 1784

I Solomon Tingle be good and perfect memory thanks be Almighty God and calling to Remembrance the Uncontant Estate of this Transitory Life and that all flesh must yeld unto death when it Shall pleas God to call I do make and declare this my Last will and Testament in manor and form following first being penintent and sory for all my Sins most humbly desreng for giveness for the I comend my Soul unto almighty god my Saviour and redeemer in whom and by whouse merets I trust and blive assuredly to be Saved and to have full remssion and for giveness of all my Sins and to inheret the Kingdom of heaven and my bodey I commit to the Earth and to be desentlyt bured at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named Goods Chatles debates as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me I do order and give and dispose the Same in manner and form following that is to imprmis} I give and beqeath to my son Solomon Tingle my plantation with 125 acers of land 1 hefer 1 bead and furntear after his mothers deth–

I Give and beqeath to my son John Tingle 125 acers of wodden Land begegining at the 2 Corner of the new patened Land runing then astrate Line to a possimon in the fork of the branch this to be the dividing Line for both to have 125 acers apes and 1 horse and 1 hefer 1 beade and furnture my tules is to be equaly devided betwend my 2 sons

my puter is to be equaly devided betwend John Mary and Solomon

I give and bequeath to my dafter mary 1 bead and furnetear 1 hefer and 1 colt if ever the mair has another colte—-

I give to my wife mary my hole astate dureng her widohod I do hearbey make and Apint Amos Cuthrell and John Tingle my Sole Executors in witness where unto I have set my hand and fixed my seal

Solomon [his mark, being a rather sloppy “S”] Tingle

William Wain
Israel Tingle

At the bottom of the second page, there is a codicil:

I also give to my wife 5 head of cattle feburary the 22 1794 I also give to my son Solomon my gun and my hanmill I also give to my dafter mary my wolen whel and my Lenen whele

After her deses the cattle I give to my son Solomon Tingle

Solomon [his mark] Tingle

Amos Cuthrell
John Blakey

Who was Ephraim Gatlin?

I have three Gatlin lines and all of them lead back to one couple:  John Gatlin and Esther Tingle.  John Gatlin and James Gatlin purchased a marriage bond January 6, 1784 for John to marry Esther Tingle.   There are two sources that lay out their children. The first is a deed of gift (Craven County Deed Book 30, page 130), dated February 22, 1793, from Esther’s father, Solomon, to the children:

To all People to whom these presents shall come I Solomon Tingle do send Greeting.

Know ye, that I the said Solomon Tingle of the State of North Carolina in the County of Craven Farmer for and in consideration of the love good will and affection which I have and do bear towards my loving grand children Abner Gatlin, Mille Gatlin Shadrack Gatlin Holon Gatlin of the same County sons and daughters of John Gatlin and Esther his Wife, have Given and Granted and by these presents do freely Give and Grant unto the said Abner Gatlin, Nille Gatlin Shadrach Gatlin Hollon Gatlin their Heirs Executors or administrators all to one Feather bed and furniture to one Linen Wheel, to one pewter bason, one pewter dish, four pewter plates, to five head of cattle to four head of hoggs, of which before the signing of these presents I have delivered them the said Children an Inventory signed with my own hand goods and cattles to the said Children their Heirs Executors or administrators from henceforth as their proper Goods and chattels absolutely without any manner of condition In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of February 1793.

Signed Sealed & delivered                   Solomon (his mark) Tingle
In the presence of us
Amos Cutherell
John Tingle

March Craven County Court 1793
Then was the deed acknowledged in open court by Solomon Tingle the grantor and ordered to be recorded.

Attest Samuel Chapman CC

Many Tingle researchers seem to be unaware of Esther’s relationship to Solomon. Probably due to her omission from his will, dated September 30, 1784. In it, he mentions sons Solomon and John, daughter Mary, and wife Mary. The will was proven March Term 1795. I strongly suspect that he had another daughter not mentioned in the will, the Mills Tingle who married John King October 11, 1782 with Amos Cuthrell as bondsman.  According to the text of their respective bonds, both Mills and Esther were “of Christ Church Parish”.  This raises the question, in my mind, anyway, of whether Solomon’s wife, Mary, was a Mills. But that’s a puzzle for another time.

The second piece of documentation proving the children of John Gatlin and Esther Tingle comes from Craven County Deed Book 39, page 535:

This Indenture made and executed, this eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen by and between Esther Gatlin, widow and Abner Gatlin, Shadrach Gatlin, Jeremiah Roe and Milly his wife, Shadrach Roe and Holland his wife, heirs at law of John Gatlin deceased of the County of Craven, and State of North Carolina of the one part, and John Reel Esquire of the County & State aforesaid, of the other part; Witnesseth, that the said Esther Gatlin, Abner Gatlin, Shadrach Gatlin, Jeremiah Roe and Milly his wife, and Shadrach Roe and Holland his wife, for and in consideration of the sum of Dollars to them in hand paid, by the said John Reel at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge, have given, granted, bargained, and sold, and by these presents do give, grant, bargain and sell, unto the said John Reel his heirs and assigns their undivided shares or portions of a certain tract or parcel of land situate, lying and being in the County of Craven on the north side of Neuse river and the West side of Morgan’s Swamp, beginning at a white oak in the fork of turkey neck branch and running thence, north forty five Degrees West one hundred and sixty poles crossing the main prong of turkey neck branch, to a stake in back [or buck] savannah, about half a pole to the north east of a marked pine saplin, then north forty five Degrees East one hundred and sixty poles to a pine, in or near John Gatlin’s other patent, then to the beginning, containing one hundred and ten acres, more or less, being the same tract which was patented by the said John Gatlin 24th day of October, A.D. 1782.–To Have and to hold that portion, share or dividend of the said tract herin before bounded & described with its appurtenances, which descended to the said grantors as heirs of the said John Gatlin to the said John Reel his heirs and assigns for ever and the said grantors for themselves and their heirs, Executors and administrators, to and with the said John Reel his heirs and assigns do hereby covenant and grant thir said undivided interest and share in the tract herein before described with its appurtenances against themselves, the said grantors, and their respective heirs and against the lawful claim or claims of all persons whatsoever, unto the said John Reel his heirs and assigns forever to warrant secure and defend by these presents– In Witness whereof the said Esther Gatlin, Abner Gatlin, Shadrach Gatlin, Jeremiah Roe and Milly his wife, & Shadrach Roe and Holland his wife, have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written.–

Esther [her mark] Gatlin
Abner Gatlin
Shaderach Gatlin
Jeremiah Roe
Milly [her mark] Roe
Shadrick Roe
Hollon [her mark] Roe

Signed sealed and Delivered in the presence of
Jacob Burch
Wm Gatlin

So, the children of John Gatlin and Esther Tingle were:

  • Abner Gatlin (b. 1785)
  • Mills “Millie” Gatlin (b. 1788) married Jeremiah Roe January 29, 1812 with Abner Gatlin as bondsman
  • Shadrack Gatlin (b. 1790) married Margaret Stevenson May 15, 1811 with Elijah Gatlin as bondsman
  • Holland Gatlin (b. 1792) married Shadrack Roe December 17, 1811 with Jeremiah Roe as bondsman

I descend from all but Abner.  Shadrack through Mom’s maternal grandmother and both Mills and Holland through Dad’s maternal grandmother.

It all looked pretty cut and dried until I found another deed, Deed Book 41, page 306:

This Indenture made this 16th day of December one thousand eight hundred and sixteen between Esther Gatlin, Abner Gatlin, Shadrick Gatlin, Jeremiah Roe and Milly his wife grantors of the County of Craven and State of North Carolina of the one part for and in consideration of one hundred dollars to them in hand paid by Shaderick Roe of the County and State aforesaid of the other part at the sealing and signing of these presents the receipt and payment whereof is hereby is acknowledged the said Grantors have bargained sold conveyed and confirmed and do hereby bargain sell convey and confirm unto Shaderick Roe his heirs and assigns forever our several undivided shares in a certain piece or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Craven on the North side of Neuse river and east side of Little Swift creek and east side of Bumpy ground swamp begining at a small sweet gum on the said Swamp to the center of a big laurel and sweet gum and turns No. 62 Et. 25 poles to a pine John Harris’ corner then with his line No 45 Et 128 poles then So 18 Et 60 poles to a stake then So 6 Wt 80 poles to a pine then So 40 Wt 66 poles to a pine in Simon Bexley’s line then with his line No 42 Wt 60 poles to a stake then So 67 Wt 56 poles to the Bumpy ground Swamp then with the various courses of the said Swamp to the begining which land was patented by Ephraim Gatlin and by a legal decent came to the present proprietors and by them sold to Shaderick Roe. To have and to hold the said several undivided shares contained in said Ephraim Gatlin’s Patent with all ways woods waters and every other appurtenance thereunto belonging to Shaderick Roe his his heirs and assigns forever in fee simple and we the said grantors for ourselves our heirs Exrs. and admirs do covenant and promise to and with the said Shaderick Roe his heirs and assigns that we shall and will warrant and forever defend each of our undivided shares in the aforesaid patent free from all lawful claim or claims of any person or persons whatsoever. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seals the day and year first above written.

Ester [her mark] Gatlin
Abner [his mark] Gatlin
Shaderick Gatlin
Jeremiah Roe
Milly [her mark] Roe

Signed Sealed and delivered in presence of
John [his mark] Evernton
Lazarous [his mark] Ipock

Who was Ephraim Gatlin? The only other document I’ve found with his name on it is the patent mentioned in the aforementioned deed, entered January 10, 1798 and issued June 3, 1799. If he’s old enough to patent land in 1798, then he was born in or before 1778.  How does he fit into the overall Gatlin jigsaw and by what legal descent did Esther and her children come by this land?  Does anyone out there have a clue?  Cause I don’t.  I’ve considered two possibilities:

  1. That Ephraim was John’s son by a previous marriage.  But this would not explain how Esther would have acquired any share in the land.
  2. That Esther married Ephraim sometime after John’s death.  But, in the first deed, dated September 11, 1815, she’s referred to as Esther Gatlin, widow.  The second deed is dated December 16, 1816.  So when did John die?  Ephraim?  There is no estate record for Ephraim, but there are three for a John Gatlin dated 1801, 1807, and 1811.
    1. John Gatlin, Sr. (1801) – Died before March 9, 1801.  On that date, Esther Gatlen, John Gatlen and David Gatlen paid £100 administrator bond on the estate of John Gatlen.
    2. John Gatlin (1807) – Clearly, this is the John who married the widow Dolly Barnes.
    3. John Gatlin (1811) – Died before June 10, 1811 when Esther Gatlin, Abner Gatlin & Shadrack Gatlin paid £500 administrator bond on the estate of John Gatlin.

    Chances are high that our John is the one who died in 1811.  Looking at the estate sale, which occurred July 3, 1811, Esther, Milly, Abner, Hollan, and Shadrick are the top buyers.  John Gatlin, Sr. is, probably, the one who married Esther Johnson sometime in the 1760s.  The only other documents in our John’s estate folder pertain to the required audit and settlement of the accounts of the administrator, in this case, Esther, with the Estate.  This is dated March 5, 1816.  Usually, when a widow remarries, and that widow is the administratrix/executrix of an estate, those duties are transferred to the new husband.  There is no documentation to show that this occurred in this case.

It’s a puzzle.

Here’s a little something else to throw out there, from Deed Book 33, page 107:

State of North Carolina, Craven County

To all Men to whom these presents shall come I Elizabeth Gatlin senr. send greeting. Know ye that I the said Elizabeth Senr. of the County and State aforesaid for and in Consideration of the Love good Will and affection, which I have and do bear towards my two Grand Sons Abner Gatlin & Shadrick Gatlin, both of this County & State have given & granted and bye these presents do freely give and grant unto my said two Grand Sons Abner & Shadrick Gatlin their Heirs & Assigns forever, a Certain Tract or parcel of Land lying and being in the State and County aforesaid and on the South East Side of Swifts Creek and North Side of Neuse River: Beginning at a large Pine by the Side of the white March, from thence So. 29 ds. East 40 poles to a post in Samuel Lawsons given Line thence North 65 Et. with Lawsons given ine 153 pole to his Beginning Corner a Gum in Kitten Bridge Swamp then South 55 ds East with Lawsons line 83 pole to a pine, then No. 40 ds. East 52 pole to a Stake in Ephraim Pearcesis Line then North 30 ds with his line 45 pole to a Light wood Stump said Pearceis beginning Corner in or near Willis’s Line 154 pole to the cutting Ledge [or Lodge] Marsh then along the Marsh side and binding on the Side of the Marsh to the Beginning Containing one hundred and fifty Acres of Land, unto them the aforesaid Abner and Shadrick Gatlin and their Heirs and Assigns forever, with all the Houses plantations Timber profits, benefits and advantages to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining unto them the said Abner & Shadrick Gatlin their Heirs and Assigns forever may have hold and quietly possess the aforesaid Land and Improvements Clear from the just Claim of the aforesaid Elizabeth Gatlin her Heirs or any other person or persons whatsoever to their proper use, without any manner of Consideration. In Witness whereof I have hereunto put my Hand & Seal this ? day of ? 1797 August the 12th day

signed sealed & delivered in the presence of us

Elizabeth [her mark] Gatlin
Lazarus [his mark] Gatlin
Baron [his mark] Gatlin
Mary [her mark] Gatlin
Levi Burch

State of North Carolina
Craven County Court March Term 1798
Then was the foregoing Deed proved in open Court agreable to Law and ordered to be registered
Attest Saml Chapman CC

The identity of this Elizabeth Gatlin, Senr. is just one more Gatlin puzzle. Trust me, there were a lot of Gatlins marrying women named Elizabeth!  This land was originally entered by John Gatlen, Junr. May 8, 1779 and his grant issued October 9, 1783.  He sold it to Elizabeth August 6, 1792 for £100 (Deed Book 30, page 139).

Oh, and, if you’re curious, here is John Gatlin’s “other patent” mentioned in the John Reel deed (North Carolina Land Grant Images and Data, Book 20, pg. 707, Grant No.: 110):

John Gatlin: 100 acres Craven on the N side of Neuse river and on the W side of Morgans Swamp Beginning at the head of Turkey neck at a post oak and runs No 75 W 127 poles to a pine then So 15 W 127 poles to a pine then So 75 E 127 poles to a pine on Morgans Swamp from thence a direct course to the Beginning dated 14th November 1771.                                                                                                     Jo Martin